How to become the entrepreneur of yourself?

Who am I? Do I really know myself? That’s the pivotal question I have to answer whether I want to become an intrapreneur (i.e. an entrepreneur of myself) or I would like to act as a facilitator. But what does it mean to become or to be an intrapreneur?

To set the scene, initiate discussions and encourage reflexion, Andrea Guida – who is himself a restless entrepreneur and a entrepreneurmultifaceted facilitator – uses the example of the « Breaking Bad » TV show which tells the story of Walter White, a struggling high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Together with his former student Jesse Pinkman, White turns to a life of crime, producing and selling crystallized methamphetamine to secure his family’s financial future before he dies, while navigating the dangers of the criminal world.

We all know this TV show, but what’s the connection between « Breaking Bad » and intrapreneurship?

Both characters become entrepreneurs, or rather « intrapreneurs » because they are forced to do so by their environment. They were not meant to become intrapreneurs, but they become so by accident.

Building on this case, why can some people become intrapreneurs, whereas others at the same time do poorly and fail in their will to move so? Determinants of being intrapreneurs are numerous with even more combinations: constraints, vision, risk-taking profile, self-determination, survival instinct, curiosity, open mind, energy, resilience…

In fact Andréa’s definition is slightly more extensive and subtle, meaning that intrapreneurship is above all a matter of mindset, a way to see the world: « intrapreneurs are people who act as entrepreneurs besides the relation they have with their business (entrepreneurs, freelancers or employees) ».

So, according to these definitions, am I entrepreneur of myself (= intrapreneur) and if I intend to be one, how to meet the prerequisites?

entrepreneur2Andrea proposes a deep dive to better know ourselves with a first exercise: « The Future Past ». It starts by an introspective work winding back from a target point in the future (2035): what have been the key milestones in my career? Which one were crisis moments and how did I overcome those? Which are the key elements both of my character and my skills that help me most in my successful journey? What is my role and my organization today in 2035?

Then we share our outcomes in small groups, mostly around schemes and drawings and at the end each group produces a synthesis (common and different key elements) to share with all the participants.

 

In fact the exercise helps us to understand some important things about ourselves, the vision of what we have done and what we want to be :

  • Learnings from what we have done (and not done) help us build our future,
  • Failures, inflections, course corrections should have positive impact,
  • Everything is not predictable; the unknown should not be feared,
  • Singleness and resilience help us move forward,
  • Feedback helps us to understand who we are and how to grow better

What an opening gambit! But we did not stop there. We continued with the « 3 circles » exercise which is designed to help us understand how we can focus better and become over-performers across our peers just because we are aware of our happiness zone (the lens at the cross of our own personal hedgehog circles – see below): « Know yourself ».

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We begin to understand that Andrea follows a phased approach to support us in our introspection.

 

We continue our journey with a new exercise focused on excellence: « How I become perfect ».

Throughout 5 short interviews made as part of an advertising campaign for the Julius Baer Bank, 5 portraits of people embodying excellence are the food for thought on what excellence is and how to reach it.

 

We now have some keys to becoming an entrepreneur of ourselves but there are many others to identify…

If you want to know more, ask Andrea about his 19 « rules of life »

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After a bit of skepticism about how we will be able to apply all the rules to become an entrepreneur of ourselves, we finally realized at the end of the day that Andrea’s insights are more patterns than simple recipes to be followed by the book.

We will make these rules our own, develop and implement some of them, build on them and even design new ones at different times in our career and our life. This will help us becoming real entrepreneurs of ourselves (= intrapreneurs).

To put it another way, we will build our future and our intrapreneurship gradually and steadily drawing on our good or bad past experiences, on our relationships, our meetings, our thinkings about ourselves. To quote Peter Drucker: « The best way to predict your future is to build it ».

And to loop the loop, we end with a personal exercise consisting in writing to ourself about one or more personal or professional committments we want to make. They will be posted back to us in April 2017…

The journey is only about to start for us…

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We would like to thank Andrea Guida for a well designed day (see comprehensive agenda above), unexpected tricks and the smart pace throughout the session.

Restitution proposée par Caroline Lapierre & Pascal Masson, participants du Diplôme Universitaire Codesign

Licence Creative Commons
Cette œuvre de Codesign-it! est mise à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution – Partage dans les Mêmes Conditions 4.0 International.

 

2 thoughts on “How to become the entrepreneur of yourself?

    • Andrea,
      writing this report was somehow a challenge (we had to make some cuts : original version was much detailed and longer !) but it was also all the more a pleasure than we really enjoyed your session ! And the story doesn’t end here… ;=)
      Pascal

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